Welton David Becket
August 8, 1902
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Died||January 16, 1969 (aged 66)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
|Practice||Welton Becket and Associates|
|Design||Century City Master Plan|
He moved to Los Angeles in 1933 and formed a partnership with his University of Washington classmate Walter Wurdeman and Angelean architect Charles F. Plummer. Their first major commission was the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in 1935, which won them residential jobs from James Cagney, Robert Montgomery, and other film celebrities. Plummer died in 1939.
The successor firm Wurdeman and Becket went on to design Bullock's Pasadena (1944) and a couple of corporate headquarters. Wurdeman and Becket developed the concept of "total design," whereby their firm would be responsible for master planning, engineering, interiors, furniture, fixtures, landscaping, signage, and even (in the case of restaurants) menus, silverware, matchbooks, and napkins.
After Wurdeman's death in 1949, Becket formed Welton Becket and Associates and continued to grow the firm to the extent that it was one of the largest architectural offices in the world by the time of his death in 1969. In 1987, his firm was acquired by Ellerbe Associates, and the merged firm continued as Ellerbe Becket until the end of 2009, when it was acquired by AECOM. It is now known as Ellerbe Becket, an AECOM Company.
Becket's buildings used unusual facade materials such as ceramic tile and stainless steel grillwork, repetitive geometric patterns, and a heavy emphasis on walls clad in natural stone, particularly travertine and flagstone.
With The Walt Disney Company and the United States Steel Corporation, Becket's firm co-designed Disney's Contemporary Resort, which opened in 1971 at Walt Disney World Resort. The Contemporary was designed as a 14-story steel A-frame with a monorail running through the building. Modular guest rooms were assembled, finished, furnished, fully equipped and their doors locked, on the ground, then lifted by crane and inserted into the frame; however, this sometimes took multiple tries.
Becket's extensive list of credits includes:
- 777 Main Street, Hartford Connecticut
- Pan-Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, 1935 (with Walter Wurdeman) (destroyed by fire)
- Jones Dog & Cat Hospital, West Hollywood, California, 1938 (with Walter Wurdeman)
- Manila Jai Alai Building, Manila, Philippines, 1939 (with Walter Wurdeman) (demolished)
- General Petroleum Building, Los Angeles, CA, 1949 (with Walter Wurdeman)
- First National Bank of Arizona Building, Phoenix, AZ, 1950
- Welton Becket Residence, Los Angeles, CA, 1952
- Los Altos Center Mall, Long Beach, CA 1953
- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 1953
- Baptist Memorial Hospital, Kansas City, MO, 1953
- Parker Center (formerly the Police Administration Building), Los Angeles, CA, 1955 (demolished)
- The Broadway department store (now Walmart) at Panorama City Shopping Center, Panorama City, Los Angeles, CA, 1955
- The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA, 1955
- The Broadway Orange County, at the original Anaheim Plaza, Anaheim, CA, 1955 (demolished)
- Capitol Records Building, Los Angeles, CA, Project Designer Lou Naidorf, 1956
- Edens Plaza, Wilmette, Illinois, 1956
- Park Central Mall, Phoenix, AZ, 1956
- Ace Hotel Los Angeles (formerly the Texaco Building) on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 1957
- Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA, 1958
- Hotel Tryp Habana Libre (formerly the Habana Hilton), Havana, Cuba, 1958
- The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo (formerly the Nile Hilton), Cairo, Egypt, 1959 (with Mahmoud Riad)
- Sheraton Dallas Hotel (formerly the Adams Mark Dallas and Southland Center), Dallas, TX, 1959
- Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA, 1959 (demolished)
- Riviera Hotel and Casino expansion, Las Vegas, NV, 1959 (demolished)
- Los Angeles Customs House and Federal Office Building, Los Angeles, CA, 1960 (with Albert C. Martin and Paul R. Williams)
- 100 California Street, San Francisco, CA, 1960
- Kaiser Center, Oakland, CA, 1960
- Clark County Courthouse, Las Vegas, NV, 1961 (with Zick & Sharp)
- Grossmont Center, La Mesa, CA, 1961
- Christown Mall, Phoenix, AZ, 1961
- Robert McCulloch Residence, Palm Springs, CA, 1962
- Petersen Automotive Museum (formerly a Seibu and Ohrbach's department store), Los Angeles, CA, 1962
- Walt Whitman Shops, Huntington Station, NY, 1962
- Southern Cross Hotel, Melbourne, Australia, 1962 (demolished 2003)
- Interiors of the new Los Angeles International Airport, 1962
- McCulloch Building (now Homewood Suites by Hilton LAX) Los Angeles, CA, 1962
- Airport Marina Hotel, Westchester, Los Angeles, 1961-2 (now Hotel June)
- Security First National Bank, Los Angeles, CA, 1963 (demolished)
- U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland, 1963
- Cinerama Dome, Los Angeles, CA, 1963
- Century City (masterplan), Los Angeles, CA, 1963
- Gateway West Building, Century City, Los Angeles, CA, 1963
- Biltmore Fashion Park, Phoenix, AZ, 1963
- Hartford National Bank, Hartford, CT 1963
- ExxonMobil Building (formerly Humble Oil Building) Houston, TX, 1963
- McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV, 1963
- Orange Civic Center, Orange, CA, 1963
- Westfield Century City (formally Century City Mall) Century City, Los Angeles, CA, 1964
- Phillips Petroleum Building, Bartlesville, OK, 1964
- Federal Building, Los Angeles, CA, 1964
- North American Avaition Building, Los Angeles, 1964
- Los Angeles Music Center (officially the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County), which includes Dorthy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theater, Los Angeles, CA, 1964
- Ford Pavilion, New York City, NY, 1964 (demolished)
- General Electric Pavilion, New York City, NY, 1964 (demolished)
- Mutual Savings and Loan Building, Pasadena, CA, 1964
- Pauley Pavilion at UCLA (officially the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion), Los Angeles, CA, 1965
- Airport Center Building (now Hyatt Place LAX / Century Blvd) Los Angeles, CA, 1965
- Santa Monica Shores Apartments, Santa Monica CA, 1967
- Gulf Life Tower (now known as the Riverplace Tower), Jacksonville, FL, 1967
- Xerox Tower, Rochester, New York, 1967
- Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA, 1967 (with William Pereira)
- 5900 Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA, 1968 (with William Pereira)
- La Habra Fashion Square, La Habra, CA, 1968 (Welton Becket and Associates)
- City Hall, Pomona, CA, Project Designer Marvin Taff, 1969
- Equitable Life Building, Los Angeles, 1969
- McKesson Plaza, San Francisco, CA, 1969
- One California, San Francisco, CA, 1969
- Park Plaza Shopping Center, Oshkosh, WI, 1969
- 800 Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA, 1970
- Park Plaza Mall, Oshkosh, WI, 1970, now City Center a commercial business center for Oshkosh.
- PNC Plaza (formerly the Citizens Fidelity Plaza), Louisville, KY, 1971
- Beverly Wilshire Hotel expansion, Beverly Hills, CA, 1971
- Disney's Contemporary Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 1971
- Worcester Center, Worcester, MA, 1971
- Chase Tower (formerly the Bank One Center and Valley Bank Center), Phoenix, AZ, Project Designer MacDonald Becket, 1972
- Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, TN, 1972
- Hyatt Regency, Knoxville, TN, 1972
- Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York, 1972
- One Market Plaza, San Francisco, CA, 1972
- Union Bank Building, San Francisco, CA, 1972
- One PNC Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA, 1972
- Regions Center (formerly the AmSouth Center, AmSouth-Sonat Tower, and First National-Southern Natural Building), Birmingham, AL, 1972
- Brady Sullivan Plaza, (formerly Hampshire Plaza), Manchester, N.H., 1973
- Glendale Central Library, Glendale, CA, Project Designer, Marvin Taff, 1973
- Chase Plaza, Lexington, KY, 1973
- 100 Summer Street, Boston, MA, 1974
- United Plaza, Philadelphia, PA, 1974
- Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, 1976
- Intourist Hotel, Moscow, Russia, 1976
- Reunion Tower, Dallas, TX, 1978
- Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dallas, TX, 1978
- Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington, D. C. 1978
- Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville, KY, 1978
- US Bank Plaza, Boise, ID, 1978
- BNY Mellon Center, Pittsburgh, PA, 1980
- One Tampa City Center (formerly the GTE Building) Tampa, FL, 1981
- Stanton Tower, El Paso, TX, 1981
- Wells Fargo Plaza, San Diego, CA, 1983
- OneOK Plaza, Tulsa, OK, 1984 (with HKS, Inc.)
- First Bank and Trust Tower, New Orleans, LA, 1987
- Skyview Center, Los Angeles, CA, 1987
- "Welton David Becket , Sr". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Timberg, Scott (10 August 2002). "A Toast to a Man Who Left His Imprint on L.A." Los Angeles Times.
- Reynolds, Christopher (6 March 2003). "L.A.'s Invisible Builder". Los Angeles Times.
- "WW Goes to WDW at Yesterland.com: An Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary". www.yesterland.com. Retrieved Jul 29, 2019.
- AIA Journal 57-58 (1972), p. 58
- Lubell, Sam (Dec 7, 2015). "Inhabiting a Legacy Los Angeles Magazine". Retrieved Jul 29, 2019.
- "Welton Becket architectural drawings and photographs, 1913-2009, bulk 1930-1969".
- "'Copter Takes Group To Broadway-Valley". Valley Times. October 10, 1955.
- "NEWSLETTERS – "Webb Spinner" – Del Webb Sun Cities Museum". delwebbsuncitiesmuseum.org. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
- "Airport hotel completed". Los Angeles Times. December 23, 1962.
- "Hyatt Regency New Orleans, New Orleans | 122830 | EMPORIS". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07.
- Oral history — Perkins quote (pg. 75)
- Bigfloridacountry.com: Video clip of construction of the Contemporary Resort
- Bigfloridacountry.com: Contemporary Pictures
- MacDonald Becket papers, Welton Becket and Associates, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession No. 2012.M.43
- Welton Becket architectural drawings and photographs, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession No. 2010.M.83
- Welton Becket at Find a Grave